Launch event to highlight arts education tomorrow – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

How important are the arts in education? That is a question that will be discussed at the Benicia Arts Now Community launch breakfast at Benicia Middle School.

The new local art education advocacy organization, in conjunction with the statewide California Alliance for Arts Education, will be hosting a special event to discuss ideas on how to grow art education in Benicia. Benicia Arts Now Community was formed last year by a group of parents who wanted further access to art education for their children. The group has expanded to include businesses, city officials, the Benicia Unified School District and local organizations such as Arts Benicia.

The goals are in line with those of the statewide California Alliance for Arts Education.

Source: Launch event to highlight arts education tomorrow

Benicia High School production of ‘Legally Blonde’ proves growing experience for all – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” tells the story of a young woman who perseveres despite obstacles and grows over time. Basically, it is an appropriate play for high school drama students to perform, and the result can be seen starting Friday at Benicia High School.

Director Nathan Day said the drama department had a difficult time picking a spring musical this year following the graduation of drama students from the Class of 2017.

“I lost a really big class last year that were really talented,” he said.

This year’s crop of drama students has mostly been girls and freshmen/sophomore boys. Day and vocal director Vivian McLaughlin decided to hold a general audition in September even before a show was selected.

“The whole concept was ‘Let’s have a general audition, and based off of that let’s pick a show that we feel we can be successful with,’” he said.

Source: Benicia High School production of ‘Legally Blonde’ proves growing experience for all

300 art pieces featured in Student Art Faire that begins May 16 – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Art from local students in fourth through 12th grades will be featured as part of the Solano County Student Art Faire that’s scheduled May 16-18 and May 21-22.

“Art is an essential component in a child’s development of motor skills, language, critical thinking, creativity and cultural awareness. It is also linked to increased academic performance. This countywide art faire showcases the immense talent of our local student artists,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.

Students from 25 schools submitted about 300 art pieces in categories that included computer art, clay pottery, sculpture, drawing, fiber, mixed media, painting, photography and print making.

Source: 300 art pieces featured in Student Art Faire that begins May 16

Student film festival features dramas, documentaries and more – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

About 30 films, including music videos, dramas and documentaries, were screened in the Solano Community College Performing Arts Center during the 17th annual EYE Light Film Festival.

The contest was open to students in middle school to junior college.

Entries came in from around Northern California, organizer Lynn Larsen said.

The festival was launched at Buckingham Charter Magnet School in Vacaville. Larsen took over in 2011 with the VacaValley Youth Video Affiliation.

The VYVA Inc. is a nonprofit scholarship organization that supports visual media arts and education. The annual film festival is dedicated to highlighting independent short films from a variety of genres created by young filmmakers.

Source: Student film festival features dramas, documentaries, more

Rodriguez 1 of 50 schools in Vans Custom Culture Competition – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Two pairs of custom-designed Vans shoes could net Rodriguez High School $75,000 for its art program.

Rodriguez is one of 50 high schools across the country participating in the ninth annual Vans Custom Culture Competition. Now, it’s up to the public to determine the winner by voting at https://customculture.vans.com and searching for Angelo Rodriguez.

The contest began with 500 schools showcasing their artistic talent on two pairs of blank Vans shoes utilizing the themes of “Local Flavor” and “Off the Wall.” The Vans team selected the top 50 based on creativity, relevance to theme and overall execution.

Source: Shoe-in: Rodriguez 1 of 50 schools in Vans Custom Culture Competition

Rodriguez art students seek votes for Vans Customer Culture Competition – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Rodriguez High School is one 50 schools competing in the Vans ninth annual Custom Culture Competition.

Sixteen art students designed and painted a pair of lace shoes and a pair of slip-ons for the competition.

The themes are “Local Flavor” and “Off the Wall.” The public determines the winner by voting at www.customculture.vans.com and searching for Angelo Rodriguez High School.

Source: Rodriguez art students seek votes for Vans Customer Culture Competition

Benicia High takes audience back in time with spring dance show – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Remember a time when people weren’t consumed by their smartphones? Benicia High School’s performing arts department will take audiences back to such a time period— several of them, in fact— for its advanced dance show “Scrolling Through Time,” which opens tonight.

The dance show— which combines the talents of Benicia High’s drama, dance and other performing arts students—is put on once or twice a year and features a story and choreographed dance numbers based on a theme. In this instance, the theme is the clash between the past and present eras.

The story centers around Scott Bledsoe (Played by Logan Bledsoe), a young man whose inventor father leaves him with a prototype of his newest product: the much-hyped iPhone Infinity. As he plays around with the Siri function, the phone glitches and the digital personal assistant comes to life as a human being, played by Ava Keffer, who takes Bledsoe back in time to several different eras.

Source: Benicia High takes audience back in time with spring dance show

Organizers extend Solano kindness video contest deadline – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The deadline to submit entries for the second annual Kindness Campaign video contest has been extended to April 27.

Students in seventh through 12th grades can participate by producing and submitting a video “that is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes . . . that expresses what the power of kindness can accomplish at school, at home and in our communities to make a positive difference,” a statement released by the county announcing the extension states.

Source: Organizers extend Solano kindness video contest deadline

Vanden High School hosts spring craft fair – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Vanden High School’s Sober Grad Committee will host a Spring Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Valley Church, 5063 Maple Road, in Vacaville.

There will be more than 30 local vendors/crafters who have partnered with the group by purchasing booth space and donating raffle items to support efforts to provide graduating seniors with a fun and safe graduation night celebration at Golfland/SunSplash in Roseville.

The entire community is invited to come out and support these vendors/crafters.

Source: The Week Ahead: Vanden High School hosts spring craft fair

Group from Mexico builds mosaic for Vallejo school – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo Charter School students don’t need to travel far to learn about another culture.

They can just look in the quad.

Huddled under a tarp because of Thursday’s rainy weather, a group of artists from Zacatlan, Mexico diligently placed colorful tiles together — building a mosaic art piece which honors the city of Vallejo, the state of California and Zacatlan.

The mural depicts a grizzly bear surrounded by grape vines, and hills, while it cradles the physical shape of California. Next to the bear is a giant apple tree, which acknowledges Zacatlan’s history with the fruit.

“The whole idea is a cultural, artistic exchange,” said Glenn Lustig, teacher leader at the school. “(Students) are learning about who these folks are, how to build a mural, and how the mural in Zacatlan was built.”

Source: Group from Mexico builds mosaic for Vallejo school

Arts Benicia highlights ‘Next Generation’ of local student artistry – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Once again, the artistic youth of Benicia have their works displayed in the same gallery often reserved for seasoned artists. In other words, Arts Benicia’s “Next Generation” exhibition is open for viewing.

“Next Generation,” a semiannual exhibit showcasing work by Benicia artists ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors, had its official opening yesterday. The show was first held in 1996 and continued to be an annual gallery highlight until it was replaced by other events. “Next Generation” was resurrected in 2010 by then-Arts Benicia Director Larnie Fox and has remained a staple ever since.

Through a partnership with Benicia Unified School District, teachers bring in the top pieces their students have worked on, whether in the STEAM Wheel program at the elementary schools, art classes at Benicia Middle School and Benicia High School or the Afterschool Art Club at Liberty High School, sponsored by Arts Benicia.

Source: Arts Benicia highlights ‘Next Generation’ of local student artistry

Fantasy, reality become intertwined in Benicia High School fall production – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

One might associate fantasy fans and theater fans as being disparate groups of people, but they will come together for Benicia High School’s fall play “She Kills Monsters,” which opens tonight. However, the fantasy elements will be intertwined with the harsh realities of grieving and growing up.

Qui Nguyen’s comedic drama only debuted off-Broadway in 2011 but is quickly becoming a popular production for high schools. The story is set in the ‘90s and centers around Agnes Evans (played by Ellie Bettencourt), a young high school teacher reeling from the loss of her parents and teenage sister Tilly (Pilar Gonzales) in a car accident. Agnes learns that Tilly was an avid “Dungeons and Dragons” player after uncovering a notebook of game scenarios and soon becomes a part of that world— both literally and figuratively— while learning about the side of her sister that she never really knew.

Director Nathan Day said he chose the play due to its themes, which he felt audiences could relate to.

Source: Fantasy, reality become intertwined in Benicia High School fall production

Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’ – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Brooke Parker sees a lot of videos online, but she said many have negative messages or are about negative subjects.

So given a chance to make a video that was positive, the junior at Buckingham Charter High School and three of her schoolmates produced a video about the power of kindness.

“I just wanted to turn it into something positive because there are so many videos online today of people holding up signs when it’s negative, saying they are suicidal and everything, so we just wanted to turn it into something positive like ‘you got this,’ ‘you’re strong,’ you’re beautiful,’ ” Parker said.

Source: Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’

Academic Decathlon organizers seek volunteers – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A variety of volunteer positions await adults who want to help at the North Bay Region Academic Decathlon Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at Solano Community College, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.

The Academic Decathlon is a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind.” The competition among high school students centers on art, music, literature, mathematics, economics, science and social science.

A list of volunteer jobs, and a volunteer form, can be found at NBRAD Application.

For more information, send an email to Ken Scarberry at kscarberry@solanocoe.net or call 646-7601.

 

Source: Academic Decathlon organizers seek volunteers

Armijo drama students tackle brain-teasing murder mystery – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Armijo High School’s Theater Department invites the community to a good brain-teaser with the production of “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery,” which opens this weekend.

The play, written by Brian D. Taylor, takes place in a playhouse in Chen Boyang, Michigan. This mysterious comedy revolves around actors and actresses who are performing the play, “Putting a Little English On It.”

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Thursday and Dec. 8-9 at the school, 824 Washington St., Room T-2, in Fairfield. The show runs for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, including a brief intermission.

Source: Armijo drama students tackle brain-teasing murder mystery

Rodriguez students tackle comedy ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Rodriguez High School presents the comedy, “You Can’t Take It With You,” written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.

The story centers on sweet-natured Alice Sycamore who falls for the banker’s son, Tony Kirby.

When she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to the marriage, Alice’s peculiar extended family might be too eccentric for the Kirbys.

Source: Rodriguez students tackle comedy ‘You Can’t Take It With You’

BOTTG at top of its ‘Game’ at Arty Awards – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Benicia Old Town Theatre Group (BOTTG) had a good evening Sunday night. The local theater company took home five trophies in the Arty Awards for its fall and spring productions, including the top prize for its Sherlock Holmes-inspired comedy “The Game’s Afoot.”“Game” took home three awards in the ceremony honoring theater productions in Solano and Napa counties, held this year at Solano Community College’s theater. It was voted as the outstanding adult comedy production, and Paul Hughes and Natasha Harris took top honors as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

BOTTG’s other production of the year was “Intimate Apparel,” an adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s play about a young African-American woman who travels to New York to fulfill her dreams of becoming a seamstress. Dan Clark won top honors for directing, and Chelsea Bearce– herself a Benicia High School graduate– was named as the best leading actress. Due to a tie in the voting, the award also went to Heather Buck for her performance in Lucky Penny Productions’ “The Miracle Worker.”

Source: BOTTG at top of its ‘Game’ at Arty Awards

Full house at newly renovated Solano College theater celebrates Arty awards – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

The 33rd annual Arty Awards gala kicked off with members of the opening act on a make-believe tour of the newly renovated Solano Community College Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a very pretty view,” said one of the women, as they entered from the right side of the stage and down the center aisle. “I think I heard something,” said another.

As they made their own way to the stage, another noticed a packed house. “I see theater people,” she said.

The group of five then broke into “We’re at the Artys,” adapted from “42nd Street’s” “We’re in the Money.”

Host Jennifer Schemke joked that she wanted to tell the audience her name was Stephen Colbert. Colbert was hosting the Emmys at the same time the Performing Arts Network was honoring live theater in the area.

Source: Full house at newly renovated Solano College theater celebrates Arty awards

Renovated Solano College theater steals show at ribbon-cutting – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Anyone who had ever been to Solano Community College’s previous Theatre Arts building might have a memory of a theater that was adequate but didn’t necessarily bowl anyone over in terms of aesthetics and general functionality.

The concessions were previously sold, for instance, out of a closet.

That has all changed.

Guests at the college’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday took a tour of the fully refurbished performing arts center and the transformation was monumental.

“It was a full renovation,” college President-Superintendent Celia Esposito-Noy said. “This project was made necessary for a number of health and safety reasons.”

Source: Renovated Solano College theater steals show at ribbon-cutting

SCC to open renovated theater Wednesday – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With some fanfare and a ribbon-cutting, Solano Community College leaders on Wednesday will open its newly refurbished Performing Arts Building.

The event begins at 5 p.m. on the main Fairfield campus, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.

The newly renovated facility, also known as Building 1200, will house the theater arts and music programs, as well as instructional classrooms, and student support space.

More than 28,000 square feet of existing space was renovated to make the building a place of enhanced learning for students, college officials noted in a press release.

“What is great about this particular project is the new theater space,” said Celia Esposito-Noy, the school president-superintendent. “Not only will students have a beautiful location in which to perform, but the college now has a space to highlight our outstanding theater, music, and dance productions as well as other academic programs.”

Source: SCC to open renovated theater Wednesday